STORY OF THE SINO-JAPANESE WAR 361
diplomats and the diplomatic approach and lashed it from behind. In the end the feverish programme in China in the years 1934-7 actually assumed the aspect of a race with time to avoid being engulfed by Japan before she was ready for resistance. Actually the war started two years too late for Japan and two years too early for China, and that is why it is going to be a stalemate. But it is exactly because Japan will not give China a chance to continue her normal development and internal reconstruction, at a time when China has at last pulled herself together and got on the road of progress, that modern China's hatred against Japan is so deep and bitter. In trying to "destroy Chiang Kaishek's government/' Japan is trying to destroy the first strong, unified and modern Chinese government to bring order out of chaos, and in this sense It is a moral wrong and a deeper injustice than breaking treaties. What the Japanese are doing is, in common English parlance, "unfair/5 It is neither English "fair play," nor Chinese "gentlemanliness," nor Japanese "bushido."
But while Chiang Kaishek was following a realistic policy of planning for war but praying for peace that China might be given a respite and build herself into a sound and united modern state, and while he had to keep cool himself and keep the nation cool by all repressive measures against outbursts of popular feeling, another big force, the national will to resist and dissatisfaction with his North China policy, was growing so strong as to change the will of this stubborn man whom nothing short of a kidnapping could change. Let it be said once for all that the situation in North China was scandalous in the eyes of foreign observers and more than humiliating in the eyes of the Chinese. More disgraceful and scandalous than even the Japanese smuggling and Japanese narcotic trade was the fact that the Japanese Army had demanded the closing down of the Kuomintang office at Peiping, that is, the office of the ruling party that the Chinese Government represented, and the Chinese authorities had complied with this demand and the Kuomintang officers had been sent down south.
Such outbursts were inevitable. The best illustration was a little incident between a railway guard representing the people, and a Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, representing the pro-